We had an adventure this week in the village. Come to think of it, everyday in the village is an adventure. I do not ever recall coming home from the village and saying "well that was boring and uneventful."
We started the week in the village with two confirmed cases of malaria and began them on a 7 day treatment. We have also encountered some sort of mystery infection with the children in the village. They get a small bite looking wound, it hardens, the middle sinks in and then it explodes into a giant wound. Most of them become quarter sized but I have seen some about 6 inches in diameter. Some of them heal and dry on their own, but too many of them become severely infected. I have been researching tropical diseases and consulting with villagers and Ugandan nurses. However, we have not figured it out yet. Up to now we are just treating the infection and dressing the wounds.
On Tuesday Tiffany took her guitar out to the village, much to the delight of the kids. She played a few, ok two, songs for the kids and we tried to teach them the words and hand motions to Waves of Mercy. We did not have too much luck, only a few of the kids actually followed along. Nonetheless we gave it a shot.
Today, we went out with Welcome Home Village Team, we were able to sing songs of worship and the Village Team read a Bible story to them in their local language. Our day started off very slow in the village, as we could not find many of the kids. The Welcome Home Team went around the village and even went to the school to round up the kids. Pierce was very impatient for the kids to arrive and wanted to make a circle with the few kids that were there. That is how we start each day in the village, we make a circle and we sing songs of worship. Pierce loves this part! Anytime there is singing or music Pierce becomes a dancing machine! The Uganda kids think this is hilarious which only eggs Pierce on and improves his performance.
Unfortunately, due to lives full of hardship and not having a hope in Jesus yet, many villages turn to a life of alcoholism. In Kogoma Gate there is a home brew made from sugar cane, which is plentiful. There is a place in the center of all of the huts where this is brewed. The smell is something that takes some time getting used to (or maybe never getting used to) and the appearance resembles black tar dripping into barrels. I can't imagine the pain that has driven people to actually want to drink this stuff. The last two visits to Kogoma Gate we have been confronted with a man who has been severely drunk on this, early in the morning. Perhaps never having even sobered up from the night before. It is always difficult to deal with someone that is drunk at this magnitude, but the first day I sat with him for over 10 minutes trying to just be someone who would listen and care. It didn't appear that I was getting very far and he was becoming more and more demanding of things I couldn't give him. Finally, I had to leave because there were still many kids that needed medical attention. This same man was back again today in the same condition. He began disturbing the children as they were singing worship songs, demanding that his picture be taken. Unfortunately the scene ended with another man from the village dragging him away. Please pray for him and for so many others like him that have lost so much hope of a better life and are just left trying to drink their sorrows away. Pray that Kari and I can find a way to reach even them with the healing that can come through a faith in Jesus. Pray for our patience and wisdom in handling hard situations.
After songs of worship I began to follow up with the children who were diagnosed with malaria earlier in the week, both were still sick, but showing signs of improvement. We also had many children who needed follow up for wound care from the mystery infection. While all of this was going on Pierce, Hadlee and Karson were playing futbol with the kids and playing on the swings. After a short time I realized I had not seen Pierce around, he kind of sticks out in the crowd. I began to search for him, as I walked all the villagers began pointing. I had my own roadmap of villagers pointing me in the right direction of Pierce. He was not too hard to track, a little blond haired blue-eyed muzungu wandering through the village. I found him making his way down to the primary school in the village. After I brought Pierce back I returned to wound care for the kids, Karson came running up to tell me one of the kids got their fingers slammed in the door of the van. So I ran over to find a poor kid with his fingers caught in the sliding door of the van, I got them out with minimal damage and only a few tears.
As we were finishing up our wound care and packing up, a huge fight broke out between 5-6 of the village men. This was not a pushing and shoving type fight, but a swinging of fist and sticks at one another in an all out brawl. I gathered all our kiddos up and got them into the van and then gathered all the village kids around to get them away from the brawl that broke out. Never boring right!? Just another day in the village.
Stand with us in prayer that the children with malaria will recover and we can find a solution to the mystery infection that is plaguing the children.
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